UK Aldi sales soar by a third

More evidence British shoppers are looking beyond the usual suspects - Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury's - for value. Latest data shows Aldi sales soared almost 33% in the 12 weeks to 15 September. Lidl sales also climbed strongly, up 14.3%.

If Aldi and Lidl are gaining market share, how much are the traditional rivals losing? It's a very mixed basket indeed...


First, let's deal with one major anomaly - Waitrose. It's the only traditional big-name chain that is growing significantly, despite the cheaper German rivals biting the big names at the bottom end. Waitrose sales climbed +9.7%.

This Waitrose news is significant for another reason, removing less and less middle ground for Tesco, Morrisons, et al, to scrap over. A fact not lost on Kantar Worldpanel when revealing the latest sales figures.

"The combined growth of Lidl, Aldi and Waitrose has taken three market share points out of the grocery market over the past three years and is forcing the major supermarkets to compete for an ever-smaller middle ground," says Kantar director Edward Garner.


Sainsbury's is the only big four grocer to up market share during the past year, growing from 16.4% to 16.6% says Kantar. Meanwhile the other big retailers have all lost market share over the past year says Kantar, "although Asda is ahead of Tesco and Morrisons in terms of its year-on-year sales growth which stands at 2.4%".

Aldi and Lidl gripes? The queues can be lengthy at busy times, the staff count often on the low side. Being German, buying everyday items on credit is alien; you pay cash or use a debit card. Credit cards are verboten.

There's a limit on brand names from the German value operators. But how hard, exactly, is buying Aldi bath cleaner or kitchen towels to more familiar Brit brands? You're likely to save significant sums in the process.

Value check

A word of caution. Stick to the major supermarkets own 'value' ranges - from tomato sauce to kitchen roll - and prices tumble. The point is that the German cheapies tend to be consistently cheaper across the full product range.

Both Aldi and Lidl though do run weekly Special Buys that can be worth a look. For example, Aldi is offering winter cycling gloves for £4.99, or autumn bedding for £1.29.